The Witness (2015) Poster

(I) (2015)

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9/10
Incredibly absorbing deep-dive into one man's emotional obsession
bob_meg27 September 2016
I saw this new doc at a double play with The Lovers and The Despot and the two films couldn't be more different. In scale, the two subjects don't match at all: one woman's senseless 50-year-old slaying against a couple of South Korean filmmakers captive to the whims of Kim Jong Il. Yet The Lovers and The Despot put me to sleep.

The Witness, by contrast, kept me riveted. My jaw dropped, my eyes wet, I got very angry --- everything you want from a good documentary. I'm old enough to remember the murder of Kitty Genovese or at least the aftermath. You know, the woman who screamed for help and was murdered over a 35 minute period while her neighbors did nothing to assist her?

Or did they? And that's where The Witness really goes in for the choke. What you thought you knew for certain may not be true, just as what Kitty's brother Bill assumed was fact and based many of his voluntary (and involuntary) life decisions upon for the rest of his life.

Filmmaker James Solomon holds back nothing while holding his subjects in nothing but the utmost respect. This is largely in credit to Bill Genovese who displays incredible honesty, tolerance, and courage as he uncovers holes, detours, and details in his sister's senseless murder and it's subsequent reporting and media blitz that are shocking and very disturbing.

But you're never invited to pity Bill, and you won't. The Witness takes a very grim and depressing event and turns it inside out by placing you as close to the action as possible, then gently daring you to not look away. You won't.
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8/10
Brother Bill confronts the past
ferguson-62 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Greetings again from the darkness. Remember that time you told yourself "I don't want to get involved"? We live in an era when the phrase "If you see something, say something" is more catchphrase than active philosophy, and it's pretty easy to justify looking the other way by thinking "It's none of my business." In 1964, twenty-eight year old Kitty Genovese was brutally attacked and murdered in Queens. The New York Times reported that the same man attacked her three times, and that no one called the police, despite her screams and 38 people witnessing the attacks over a half hour. Her story became the symbol for "bystander apathy" and led to development of the 911 system and the "Good Samaritan Law".

Forty years after the attack, the New York Times examined their original story, and it's that piece that brought together filmmaker James D Soloman (he wrote the screenplay for The Conspirator) and Kitty's brother Bill. Their goal was to research the horrible events of that night and determine once and for all if the legendary story is fact or a case of media sensationalism. With its flashbacks to multiple news stories over the years, the film begins as a procedural and evolves into Bill's personal journey of emotional turmoil in regards to his big sister's life and death.

Bill was only 16 years old when Kitty was killed; and three years later, he lost both legs while serving in Vietnam. It's his calmness and intelligence that we are so drawn to as he makes his way through the crime scenes, interviews witnesses/neighbors/family members, and examines as much of the existing evidence as possible. His fascinating journey finds him crossing paths with Mike Wallace of "60 Minutes", Abe Rosenthal (the NY Times editor who ran the original story and wrote a book about the case), the police detective who investigated the case, the prosecutor, and the defense attorney for Kitty's confessed murderer.

As compelling as the complete film is, there are a few segments that really stand out. Mr. Rosenthal's attitude and lack of remorse for running such a sloppy story is sickening – even 50 years after the fact. It's an extraordinary example of how the media can manipulate a story for ratings, and of how little things have changed over 5 decades. A face-to-face sit down with the Reverend son of the confessed killer is both awkward and frustrating, while also enlightening as to how family members can revise history in order to live with it. Finally, Bill's visit to the home of Kitty's old friend and neighbor Sofia is heartbreaking as the woman remembers comforting Kitty in her last few moments of life.

Bill discovers numerous conflicts to the original NYT story … there were two attacks, not three; the number 38 for witnesses seems to have been fabricated; most of the witnesses were ear-witnesses, not eye-witnesses; and there is every indication that multiple calls were made to the police … thereby muting the argument that neighbors were too apathetic or frightened to get involved. While none of these points are especially surprising to us, it's Bill's story now and we can't help but feel for him.

Mr. Soloman expertly structures the film so that we can experience both the highs and lows of Bill's efforts. We hear the recording of Kitty's former roommate as she shed lights on Kitty the person, rather than Kitty the victim. Bill reads the letter from Rocco, Kitty's ex-husband as he declines an interview. We are in the room when Bill is questioned as to whether he is part of the infamous Genovese crime family, and we see Bill tackle the trial transcripts with the words "heard screams, saw nothing" repeated many times. If this is a study on social behavior, it may be more pertinent to media motives than human reaction … but this isn't the place to bash the media – it's a compelling look at one man's quest to find peace with the past.
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8/10
No Man Left Behind
clarkj-565-16133621 June 2016
This was a riveting movie from beginning to end. William Genovese embarks on a long and difficult search for clues as to what really happened to his sister Kitty back in 1964 when she was brutally murdered. As a marine losing both legs in Vietnam, you can feel his pain knowing that his buddies were there for him, but his sister apparently died alone. William slowly begins to fit together a more complete picture of what happened. I think that his honesty and lack of judgment allowed him to discover things that would probably have remained hidden for ever. What is uncovered is complex and not easily defined. What is evident, however, is that nothing can ever replace original and painstaking research. The movie is well produced and the graphic illustrations are imaginative and well placed.
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8/10
"She was a witness who didn't even know she was a witness..."
moonspinner556 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Bill Genovese, one of the three brothers of slain New York tavern manager Kitty Genovese (in a murder case dating back to 1964), seeks closure to his sister's horrific death, wherein over 30 residents of a Queens apartment house allegedly heard her screaming for help after being stabbed repeatedly in the early morning hours but did not respond. Bill--a forthright and determined man able to get about almost effortlessly in a wheelchair--has become obsessed with the details of the crime over the past 50 years and, with the help of co-writer-producer-director James D. Solomon, gains incredible access to both everyday citizens and journalists who were either directly or indirectly involved. Bill discovers the facts of the case were somewhat embellished by reporters eager to sell newspapers on the strength of the story's more sensational aspects. He also reenacts the crime with an actress on the exact spot his sister was slain (with advance notice to the neighbors, of course). Most telling is a meeting with the son of Winston Moseley, Kitty's now-incarcerated killer, who admits to being apprehensive of meeting Bill after years of hearing that the Genovese family were part of the Italian Mafia. An altogether compelling, absorbing and emotional film, impeccably assembled and thought-provoking. ***1/2 from ****
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9/10
Documentary of the Year?
gavin694226 November 2016
The brother of Kitty Genovese investigates the circumstances of her murder and the truth of the story that dozens of locals witnessed the crime and did nothing to intervene.

This is a story I have been aware of for 20 years. I never investigated it in any detail, but had been fascinated and did hear that much of the original story as reported in the media (and subsequent textbooks) was wrong. Here, in painstaking detail, we get to the bottom of things.

Anyone who takes the time to seek out the documents, track down witnesses,and even speak with the killer's son... that deserves a commendation. This should be winning awards right and left. The fact it is a family member makes it even stronger.
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9/10
Moving
MikeyB179324 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
A most moving documentary that explores many facets of the murder of Kitty Genovese in New York City (Queens) in 1964. At the time it was portrayed as a murder witnessed by 38 people who did nothing.

Over the years this was exposed as a manufactured myth, for example most of the witnesses heard but did not see the crime. There were also calls to the police and a friend of Kitty's came to her assistance. The New York Times comes under criticism for fabrication of these "38 witnesses" – as a ploy for "crime sells" and propagating a myth of "urban indifference".

We also come to know who Kitty was – and how a family never recovers from this trauma. An excellent documentary, at a very human level, where the principal narrator, the brother of Kitty, never draws undue attention to himself.
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10/10
Impressive Investigation
flkatej5 October 2016
This was so well done. It's amazing how impartial her brother was while investigating the reactions of the media, police, and ear witnesses. Revisiting the building and recreating what they heard must have been excruciating. He displayed the same courage that must have been necessary to move forward with his life after her death and the severe injuries he suffered while serving as a marine during the Vietnam war. Getting to see glimpses of her personality only magnify the loss. The Genovese family have shown a great deal of character in dealing with the hardships in their lives. Her murderer's son is more concerned with victim blaming than accepting his father's responsibility for his own actions.
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10/10
Comprehensive Documentary Reveals Flaws of the Media
TigerHeron15 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is a moving, comprehensive documentary about the life and death of Kitty Genovese, the woman whose murder was supposedly witnessed by "38 Witnesses" who did nothing. It exposes the truth about the "witnesses," most of whom didn't actually see what happened. A couple of people did intervene, including a woman who cradled the victim as she died. The film exposes the gross malfeasance of The New York Times.

Kitty Genovese was murdered in the sixties by a lone sociopath, as she returned home from her job as a bar manager. The film details how publications such as The New York Times reported a story based on semi-accurate police reports and blew it up into an attack on American "apathy." But in reality, as this documentary shows, the truth was far more complicated. In my view the most shocking scene is an interview with Times former editor A.M. Rosenthal, who all but admits he was interested in advocacy not journalism. I couldn't help but think of the recent fiasco involving Rolling Stone magazine and their fictitious story about campus rape. And we depend on these entities to tell us the truth!

The most harrowing part of the film is a re-creation of the murder. The film is also a tear-jerker as we learn about the many lives impacted and destroyed by Kitty's murder. There's a fascinating scene in which the son of the murderer reveals the fanciful story told by his father to explain what happened, and we get the sense the son actually believes this absurd rationalization.

The film is in large part the work of Kitty's brother Bill who is kind of a main "character" in the film as he doggedly pursues the truth. I applaud Bill Genovese and the director for making this film.
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9/10
A real tragedy
donaldricco6 August 2017
I've been super interested in this case ever since college, and this documentary didn't disappoint! 50 years after her murder, Kitty's brother re-looks at the facts of the case and tries to find closure. I didn't think that it mattered how many exact witnesses there were, and whether they were "eye" or "ear" witnesses. To me, people knew Kitty needed help, and they didn't help her. End of story. Looking at her mug shot always effects me greatly. And watching the re-enactment at the end, almost moved me to tears. It is a terrible case, and I hope this film does her memory justice. That poor, poor woman.

and p.s. - shame on the killer's son for making excuses during his interview. He seemed very out of touch, and sort of delusional about what happened. And playing the race card? Wow...
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9/10
Apathy with a Twist
itgirlx3 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Very well conceived and executed narrative about one of the most fascinating and enduring tragedies in American psycho-social lore. This meticulously constructed documentary turns one of America's most chilling murders on its head with reconstructed time lines, police records, witness interviews and media reports from 1964 through subsequent decades, revealing the facts with a despicable and haunting twist--the "38 witnesses who did nothing," and have been used as an example of urban apathy, but have been cast in a different light.

What we come to learn about the night Kitty Genovese was brutally murdered reveals the darker underside of the police, media and others who capitalized on her death. This film is a must-see for true crime fans and social scientists alike-- for this tragic death speaks not to the shocking 'bystanders who did nothing' but to the sensationalized exploitation of Kitty's murder to further careers and do something far worse than nothing--the calculated and systemic lies and distortions by those entrusted to help, solve and inform the public who go on to use her murder for self-aggrandizement. Sadly, ultimately adding to the erosion of the concept of "American Exceptionalism."
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7/10
Worthwhile true crime documentary... "The end hasn't been reached yet"
paul-allaer28 September 2017
"The Witness" (2015 release; 88 min.) is a documentary about the life and death of New Yorker Kitty Genovese. As the movie opens, we learn how Kitty was brutally murdered in Kew Gardens, a densely populated area of Queens and, as the New York Times then reported, how 38 witnesses watched and did nothing. Now 50 years later, Kitty's brother Bill is still bothered by many aspects of the whole thing. "The end hasn't been reached yet", he murmurs as he decides to get to the bottom of this. At that moment we're not even 10 min. into the documentary but to tell you more of how it plays out would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to watch it for yourself.

Couple of comments: this documentary is directed by James Solomon, but is really driven by Bill Genovese, whose investigation we follow on screen (and who co-produced the movie). The most puzzling aspect of the entire story is how the famed NYT got this story so wrong, I mean, their reporting has holes the size of Manhattan in it! Bill also takes the opportunity to look back at Kitty, not just her death, but also her life, in which we get a couple of interesting surprises as well. All that, plus a look back at the 50s and early 60s era, make for interesting viewing, and then some.

I happen to catch this on a recent trans-Atlantic flight, and it certainly helped the time move along. If you like crime documentaries, you could to a lot worse than this.
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5/10
Interesting and gripping, until the final scenes..
ll_ss_mm1 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Remarkable tale and insight into how the media treated the "facts" of the case. And a few revelations came to light about Kitty that portrayed her as a mysterious but loved character.

But what on earth was that ending about? I thought wanting to meet the (clearly delusional) killer was a step too far - it seems his son inherited the whacky delusions as well. But the recreation ventured into obsession, if not a fetish role play. Very bizarre, and hard to see what that proved.

A better director and story editor could have made this so much better. It has all the elements of a great true story. But I think because there was a sense of no real closure, the end was staged to inject some excitement. Bad decision.
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8/10
Not just a documentary about Kitty Genovese, but something bigger
Movie_Muse_Reviews19 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The murder of Kitty Genovese has captivated sociologists, historians and journalists for 50 years; strangely, "The Witness" marks my first ever exposure to this bewildering case and may very well be for a number of viewers. The notion that 38 witnesses saw the crime or heard Kitty's screams outside the Mowbray residence building in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens, New York and did nothing is astounding, yet as "The Witness" discovers, the legend appears to have overshadowed the truth.

"The Witness" follows Bill Genovese, Kitty's younger brother, on what amounted to an 11-year quest (on film) for answers. The documentary reveals Bill to be a restless truth-seeker consumed by what happened to his sister. Her death shattered his family and dramatically affected the course of his life's direction, while America held it up as the textbook example of public apathy and selfishness.

Bill begins his investigation with the objective of finding out if 38 people really witnessed his sister's murder. He tries to track down any and all living witnesses to piece together an account of the night's events, which leads him everywhere from police reports, to the trial transcript to newspaper accounts. Bill also explores who his sister was and also who her killer was.

The film takes on a murder mystery tone at first with voice-over narration from Bill guiding the story more so than director James D. Solomon. Where he goes, the story seems to go. In some ways it does have a corny private investigator TV special vibe to it, but Kitty's case is a fascinating one. Bill's willingness to explore anything and everything about her murder, however, causes the film to lose focus. The objective becomes about obsessively scouring for any kernel of truth.

Then suddenly it becomes clear. "The Witness" is not a documentary about Kitty's case; it's a documentary about Bill's investigation of Kitty's case. Bill is the subject. Viewers learning of it for the first time will likely get swept up in the details as Bill has for 50 years, but it's Bill's dogged search for truth and obsession with this story that ultimately takes center stage and elevates what would otherwise be a compelling but standard-order documentary.

"The Witness" reveals something about the need for truth and more importantly, the need for narratives to fill in what truth is missing. The more people Bill meets, the more stories and accounts that he hears, and the more questions that arise. The percentage of truthful information about Kitty's murder grows ever smaller in a pool of inconsistent information.

Whereas everyone from the journalists who covered the story to the witnesses to the American public to the Genovese family filled in the gaps in truth with a story that gives it all meaning and allows them to move on, Bill cannot. That's what Solomon's documentary is really exploring and revealing in following this infamous case. A reenactment scene at the end of the film is particularly painful and off-putting from a viewer's perspective, but seen in the context of Bill being the subject, it makes a powerful amount of sense.

The dual nature of "The Witness" will not click with every viewer. Those hoping for a Kitty Genovese documentary will probably find it unsatisfying after a point, while those unable to zoom out and see the ways the film is about Bill will surely find it strange as well. Yet there's something powerfully meta about the film that will stimulate those who enjoy documentaries for the storytelling.

~Steven C

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9/10
Eye Opening.
thejamjam19 January 2018
I recently had the pleasure of viewing the documentary Witness in my intro to writing English class. The documentary shows an in-depth analysis of the murder case of Catherine "Kitty" Genovese. She was murdered around 3 am by a man named Winston Moseley who has had an unrepresented history of murdering and raping women. Before I watched the doc, I read the first article posted by the New York Times (38 who saw murder and didn't call police) that was printed a couple weeks after Kitty's murder. From viewing Witness, I found that this article was intentionally skewed to push the blame of kitty's murder onto the residents of Kew Gardens in Queens, where kitty was murdered. It also neglected to inform its audience of the details of her murderer, the true antagonist of this story. This documentary has shown me that I shouldn't just stop at ground level if I want the true story, I need to really investigate what I'm being told. Thank you, Bill Genovese and family, for opening your world to us.
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6/10
Not as compelling as the other reviews would indicate...at least not for me.
planktonrules15 January 2017
This film was made by Kitty Genovese's brother, William. He spends this movie talking about and interviewing just a few people about the infamous murder of his sister--a story sensationalized by the New York Times back in 1964. Unfortunately, it was over 50 years ago...and few witnesses are still alive and the murderer wouldn't participate in the film. Still, the documentary was interesting in spots--such as when it becomes apparent that the Times actually botched the story...there WERE witnesses who claim to have called the police and Kitty definitely did NOT die alone as the paper claimed. Additionally, interviews with the person who stayed with her when she died and the interview with the killer's son were mildly interesting...mildly. However, the film seems to say nothing definitely and the story only held my interest but never did much more.
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10/10
Don't ever settle for the half truth.
minterws22 January 2017
The Witness is an insightful revelation to the truth behind a story that has been around for half a century. The documentary follows the journey of Bill Genovese, as he leaves no stone unturned in finding the truth of what happened the night that his sister, Kitty Genovese, was murdered in 1964. He discovers that the New York Times article describing the apathy of the Kew Gardens residents was missing many crucial details. As he continues to debunk the myths of the story, it becomes apparent that the media is more to blame than the "witnesses," most of whom did not actually see any part of the crime, but only heard bits and pieces. Bill's courageous voyage into the unknown and hidden truths is inspiring, and it encouraged me to never stop asking questions. I loved the descriptions of Kitty by her family, friends, and coworkers in personal interviews; it was great to see her depicted in a positive manner rather than as a defenseless, helpless victim, like every other media story describing her tragic death. In response to Bill's quote "I'll know when it's over"; Rest assured Bill, your story is prevailing and your voice will not be silenced! We will always keep challenging the question! Semper Fidelis, marine.
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7/10
A brother's quest to learn the other side of the crime.
Reno-Rangan14 April 2017
My last documentary film was a couple of Oscar nominees that I saw before the award ceremony. I'm not that into documentaries compared to the feature films I watch on the regular basis, but time to time I try if I get interested after learning what it's all about. Likewise, I found this one, though it is not a science or nature theme that I usually prefer than anything else. I have enjoyed many murder mystery films, but this one is a documentary. So I wanted to know the experience of watching the real story with real clips and interviews of real suspect, witnesses and what the victim's family says about it.

This was about one of the America's most talked crime of the previous century. It took place 50 years ago, on 13th March 1964. A young woman was murdered where nobody came to rescue her. So after all these years, the younger brother of the victim, who was a very young boy then did not remember much of the event and following incidents, is now trying to investigate and if possible to get a new perspective of that dreadful day. His journey begins in search of truth.

Like any documentary films, it started off without notifying us what's going on. But very soon the basic information revealed. Bill Genovese, who is on the wheelchair tells us what he little knows about his sister Kitty. Then the focus goes back to the day she was murdered. She was alone on the street, but there were plenty of eyes that witnessed from a nearby apartment building when a man approached Kitty and what followed was a horror. No one came forward, otherwise an innocent soul would have been saved.

❝For years, I avoided the details of that night, because they were just too painful, but it's worse not knowing the truth.❞

After debating about the crime like the motive to commit it, the film right away turns its all focus on what's wrong with those who saw it, but failed to do anything. Bill meets some of the witnesses and gets their perspective. The stories of how they saw it and how they reacted to it. Unfortunately, many of them are passed away as it was a half a century old incident. Bill, as well as the filmmakers tried their best to get useful and fresh info, but the investigation did not go anywhere as we expect in a feature film.

The sad part of this film is there's barely any original clips, except a few personal archive footages of the victim. Because CCTV cameras were not found anywhere near the crime scene like todays world, not even 911 was existed. They say, this crime was one of the reasons to implement the 911 concept. The incident impacted the US big, to fight crime after many debates to introduce many other precautionary measures. This topic was also used for the college thesis and other researches. So basically it changed the system that America began to fight back.

It was an outrageous event, but this film lacked something. Like I said the visuals, how that night would have looked like. They should have recreated it, instead revealing everything orally. Particularly the same event described by different people who witnessed it, that was this film's notion than the crime as the title hints. So pretty much succeed in its quest, along with Bill, who led his one man research team. As a documentary film, it is a fine product, but nothing like the feature film's murder mystery. So don't go for it with such expectation other than eager to learn the truth in a realistic way. So, recommended, but only for the selected audience.

7/10
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10/10
"Emotionally heavy, eighty-nine minute masterpiece..."
karisha-3140726 January 2017
James Solomon phenomenally intertwines the power of sensationalism and the devastating effects of foul journalism in an emotionally heavy, eighty-nine minute masterpiece, The Witness. By allowing America to follow Bill Genovese's personal journey to seek the truth of the brutal murder of his beloved sister, Catherine "Kitty" Genovese, Solomon taps into the minds of many viewers and allows us to question something in which we, as Americans, are unconditionally susceptible to—the press. Bill Genovese does a superb job invalidating The New York Times article. By bringing the audience alongside with him as he met Kitty's friend, Sophia Farrar, as he hired an actress to reenact the death of Kitty Genovese, or as he read the letter in which Winston Moseley falsely put together lies, the audience was able to experience the roller-coaster of emotions and perceive Kitty Genovese as a person, not just an unfortunate example of Urban Apathy. This documentary will leave you realizing that there truly is two sides of a story and by simply projecting a shoddy argument, it can impact people's lives for years. The importance of engaging in sensationalism is brought to light as you see the emotional damage left to the Genovese family. Whether it be the new generations of Genovese ignorance towards their aunt, Kitty Genovese, or Kitty's siblings inability (besides Bill) to reveal the truth, The New York Times has left a mark.
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9/10
The Witness:unveiled truth
agursas20 January 2018
The Witness, seeks to explore the truth behind Kitty Genovese's murder. Despite the public story, the truth of the matter is widely unknown. As Bill Genovese, brother of Catherine "kitty" Genovese, searches for truth, he uncovers shocking details that the original New York Times failed to mention. Images of the scene, numerous interviews, and a powerful reenactment in the exact locations of the attacks painted a clearer picture of what occurred that night. Already familiar with the case, this film answered many of my questions, but managed to leave some lingering. For instance, what goes through a sociopath's head like Moseley? This emotional work was phenomenal at portraying Kitty as a vivacious human being versus a character in a tragic story. The most exceptional thing about this film was its ability to convey such strong emotions and show the importance of journalism and its influence in this case. Highly recommend.
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8/10
A compelling journey for the truth
ktg-9398320 January 2017
The Witness is a well-directed documentary about the journey Bill Genovese embarks on to uncover the truth about the murder of Kitty Genovese that pulls on the heart strings of viewers. It features interviews with family members who reflect on their life with Kitty and witnesses who recall their experiences from the night of her murder. The Witness exposes parts of Kitty's life that you can't get from basic research and paints her as the human she was, rather than a psychology study or social figure. At times the documentary can seem a bit over dramatic but it plays in well with the topics brought up and the events that occurred. This documentary represents the effects that exaggerated and untrue journalism can have on public opinion. Although it was a little slow at parts, it captures the attention of viewers and is well worth the watch.
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10/10
The Real Story of Kitty Genovese
breannagwood21 January 2018
Watching "The Witness," there was never a moment dull moment. This film made me question what the media puts out. It has taught me to question everything, and to not believe everything I read. This film tells the story of Kitty Genovese, who was murdered while she was walking home from work in Queens, New York in 1964. Bill Genovese investigates the murder of his sister to find out the truth about what happened that night, and why the media gave the readers of the New York Times false information.
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8/10
Weep for Kitty Genovese
cekadah27 November 2016
A tragic American story! Witnesses all around and nobody does anything to alert the police. A famous news paper grasp upon the story for their own purpose. A botched police investigation.

Read TigerHeron's review as I believe that review shows a good picture of this film without giving away too many details. I found the first quarter of this documentary to be a bit boring but suddenly my interest level grew as more details are given about that night of horror for Kitty Genovese. Kitty's brother William looks back to that night and tries to come to terms with the murder by seeking out those that witnessed or heard the screams to ask 'why?' did you do nothing.

This was a famous incident in the 1960's that brought many opinions and observations about life in America to the surface. William Genovese has created superb documentary about his sister, NYC in the 1960's, and how the media and court system reacted.
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9/10
Bill Genovese searches for answers about his sister's murder after many years.
moorerw-9147422 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"The Witness", directed by James Solomon, gave the audience an inside perspective into Bill's journey to find answers to his sister's, Kitty Genovese, premature death. I can remember learning about Kitty Genovese and the 38 who witnesses in high school psychology. After watching Bill look for answers about his sister's death, it showed me that the things that I learned in high school were not all completely true and that most the witnesses were just ear witnesses and that they did not actually see the murder. With the murder happening so long ago, Bill was not able to get all the answers that he wanted but he did say that "this story taught us more about Kitty than we would have ever known. "The key aspect of the film making that I found the most interesting are the interviews with the witnesses that Bill was able to talk to. They gave him closure and information that countered the famous New York Times article and without their stories Bill wouldn't have had any information to compare to the news articles. "The Witness" does a very good job at getting the audience emotionally involved, showing the audience the truth behind the 38 witnesses, and showing us Kitty's life before the murder.
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7/10
Brother of Kitty Genovese looks to uncover mysteries in his sister's death
steelersare23 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This film, "The Witness," is directed towards an audience that enjoys crime mysteries and documentaries of this sort. This documentary itself was intended to educate people about the murder of Kitty Genovese and her brother's hope to find out what exactly happened that night. Before viewing the documentary I had some background knowledge of the case and was expecting this to be a look into the murder similar to what a "Cold Case Files," would do with the case. This was filmed to give the story of what her brother went through trying to solve the mystery as to why no one called the police during Kitty's attack. This was a much more interesting take on the case than the articles I've read about the case and I would recommend this documentary to anyone interested in the case or murder cases in general.
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10/10
Incredibly Captivating
mexasam22 January 2018
The documentary "The Witness" was an absolutely captivating film that followed the emotional turmoils of Bill Genovese discovering and coming to terms with the murder of his sister, Catherine Genovese. It dove in deeply into the injustices and inaccuracies brought forward by the case and the New York Times article, "37 Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police." The film was made with the intention of reaching an audience striving to learn more about this extremely famous case. While Bill Genovese is trying to discover and inform us of the truths about his sisters death, the film also intends to teach the audience to not believe everything put out by the media. The imagery and soundbites throughout the film where elegantly capturing raw human reactions and emotions brought forth in Bill's interviews with the "37 witnesses." The film, in a way, changed my way of thinking and opened my mind to truly question everything.
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